Samantha Alexis Manuel

Sam (she/her/siya) is a recent UCLA grad with a BA degree in Communication with an Art History and Digital Humanities minor. She has a strong desire to forge connections between the arts, technology, equity, and advocacy. Her capstone project, a VR exhibition called “In Discrete Fashion: Garment Workers of LA,” considers the garment workers’ vulnerabilities within the industry, the harmful working conditions they face, specific forms of exploitation, and the laws, policies, and systems that sustain these unfair practices. Bringing together the Garment Workers of LA Photograph Collection from UCLA’s Library of Digital Collections, news footage, short documentaries, interviews, related scholarship, and a culminating community resource board, the experience is designed to equip viewers with the knowledge to influence the balance of power within the garment industry. It was chosen to be presented at UCLA Undergraduate Research Week 2023.

These values are reinforced by the exhibition/admin positions she’s held at LACMA, LACE, 11:11 Projects, and at the J. Paul Getty Museum where she coordinated and planned the launch of “Our Voices, Our Getty: Reflecting on Drawings,” the first exhibition of its kind that featured personal interpretations written by the 2022 cohort of interns.

While being the Executive Assistant at Arts for LA, the other half of her week is spent as an Arts Associate at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) under the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs Community Arts Division, assisting the gallery with exhibition-related administrative support.